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Brazil investigates rescue of maid enslaved for nearly 40 years

Fabio Teixeira

Rio de Janeiro – A Brazilian woman enslaved as a maid from the age of eight for almost four decades and forced into marriage has been rescued in a rare crackdown on domestic slavery, officials said on Monday.

The 46-year-old was found living in a small room in an apartment in Patos de Minas, in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais. She had worked for the family for most of her life without pay or any time off, according to labour inspectors.

The victim was given up as a child by her destitute parents to the family of Dalton Cesar Milagres Rigueira, a university professor at Unipam, and raised by his mother, inspectors said.

“They gave her food when she was hungry, but all other rights were taken from her,” Humberto Camasmie, the inspector in charge of the rescue, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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